Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural Education and Studies

First Advisor

Robert A. Martin


During the last decade a gap has existed between the education offered by institutions of higher education in Latin America in the agricultural sciences and the concrete needs of farmers, potential employers and society. The graduates from colleges and universities in the region are not meeting the needs of agriculturally oriented national/international companies nor the demands from small farmers;The purpose of this study was to determine the knowledge and skills needed by Ingenieros Agronomos with the Licenciatura degree as perceived by their potential employers in the agriculture sector, namely private businesses, government and non-government agencies, and international development institution in Costa Rica;A secondary purpose of the study was to provide information to the agricultural colleges and universities of Costa Rica regarding the desired exit profile of their graduates;An additional purpose of this study was to develop a valid and reliable instrument which may serve as the basis for further research in other countries represented by the EARTH College population;This was a descriptive research study which used the survey approach. The population of the study was comprised of entities (i.e., organizations, agencies, institutions, companies, and associations) that work in the agricultural sector in Costa Rica and are potential employers of agriculturalists in Costa Rica. Since a comprehensive list of all potential employers of agriculturalists in Costa Rica was not available it was necessary to obtain this information through a variety of sources. Two questionnaires were sent to each of 149 valid entities in the population. A total of 148 (49.5%) usable questionnaires were returned. Field research for this study was carried out between November 1994, and July 1995;The data obtained provided a detailed description of the skills an agriculturalist must possess, and the profile he/she must exhibit upon graduation from an institution of higher education, as perceived by potential employers. The results indicated that there are areas that are considered more important than others. The desired profile of the agriculturalist when hired is of that of a generalist with good communications and interpersonal skills who must be skilled in production as well as post-harvest management, and have sound management skills and an interest in technology.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Xenia Ceville Gray



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

135 pages